The most recent Dungeons & Dragons product from Wizards of the Coast, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything functions as a mixture of a second Player’s Handbook (or a minimum of a supplement to the first) and a second Dungeon Master’s Guide. The book offers new subclass options for every official class within the game, new spells, and new DM advice. So let’s break it down with our more timely review, starting in the week with the primary chapter:
Much like Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the framing device for Xanathar’s Guide is from the attitude of a beholder who runs a thieves’ guild beneath Waterdeep. At least, that’s the idea… in practice, this pretense is dropped by the second paragraph of the book. the primary page basically opens with a blurb about who Xanathar is, and then… nothing of consequence. The intro has no thanks to connecting him to the contents of the book, in order that they barely try. the sole other references to him are little notes throughout the book, but if beholders are alleged to be brilliant (as Volo’s Guide insisted), Xanathar’s insights don’t support it. He adds nothing to the book, which may be a shame, because Xanathar’s Guide to Everything may be a killer title.
Xanathar’s Guide To Everything PDF – Official
There also are some formatting issues, which may easily cause confusion among inexperienced players. Under the Cleric’s Forge Domain, a 1st level ability is written thusly:
“At the top of an extended rest, you’ll touch one nonmagical object that’s a suit of armor or simple or martial weapon. Until the top of your next long rest or until you die, the thing becomes a magic item…”
This should really clarify that the power lasts until whichever comes first, either the top of your next long rest or until you die. I don’t imagine many Dungeon Masters who wouldn’t read it that way, but I can see a player making a case that they get to settle on between those options, which might be preposterously broken. And there are a couple of samples of that kind of error, things that would be cleaned up simply with better word choices.
But let’s advance to the meat and potatoes of chapter one: the subclasses.
There are three new Paths for the barbarian: the Ancestral Guardian, the Storm Herald, and therefore the Zealot. The Ancestral Guardian draws power from the ghosts of ancestors, which I prefer – it’s a true “Avatar State” vibe thereto. But the Storm Herald is perhaps my favorite; you’ve got an aura of weather that activates once you rage, allowing you to harm or slow your enemies once they enter your area.
The bard gets three new groups: the school of Glamour, the school of Swords, and therefore the College of Whispers. Between them, I don’t really see the intent for the school of Glamour – it seems to be about illusion magic and usually looking fabulous, but doesn’t have much substance. College of Swords features a fun mechanic that functions a touch just like the Battle Master’s superiority dice, using Bardic Inspiration dice to deal damage to groups, bolster your armor class, or move out of combat.
There are two options for the cleric: the Forge Domain and therefore the Grave Domain. Both seem fine at a look – the Forge Domain features a cool Channel Divinity option that permits you to perform an hour-long ritual to magically use metal to craft an item, albeit it’s not entirely metal. you’ll also use this to form a non-magical duplicate of a magic item (as long because it contains some metal), so I can see some players having fun with the choices available.
The druids get two new subclasses: the Circle of Dreams, and therefore the Circle of the Shepherd. The Circle of Dreams features a lot of Feywild connection, and tons of their boons involve creating or returning to safe places. for instance, at the 6th level, the druid can create a neighborhood that provides a stealth bonus and mutes light so a fireplace or torch can’t be seen from outside the world. And at the 14th level, they gain the power to teleport the party back to the last location where they took an extended rest (on this plane of existence).
The fighter gets three new fighting styles: Arcane Archer, Cavalier, and Samurai. The text makes it clear that the latter two subclasses aren’t meant to be historically accurate; they instead evoke the thought of this style as understood from folk tales and popular culture . and therefore the Samurai features a little bit of cool flavor – a samurai character features a lot of abilities to remain within the fight longer. This culminates at the 18th level once they get to require a free attack immediately whenever they get knocked unconscious.
The monk gets three new monastic traditions: the Way of the Drunken Master, the Kensei, and therefore the Sun Soul. The Drunken Master is perhaps exactly what you expect, with tons of mobility options designed to simulate surprising your enemy and catching them off-balance. Their biggest draw early is that the ability to disengage and move 10 extra feet on their turn whenever using Flurry of Blows (which is, of course, the foremost popular monk skill to use in combat).
The paladin has two new sacred oath options, and therefore they’re pretty opposite from each other: the Oath of Conquest and the Oath of Redemption. We are really unsure we do know who the Oath of Conquest is for, apart from Dungeon Masters who need a cool new class for his or her paladin NPC. And once I read the text, I don’t get the sense that this is often a category that the designers anticipate tons of individuals playing. Narratively, it’s got tons of badass power just like the Oath of Vengeance, but it’s more authoritarian. And that’s not something that appeals to all or any players – usually, D&D players like better to be rogue agents, not conquerors. Still, someone will play this subclass, so it’s within the book.
Overall, the primary chapter features a lot to supply, and a good number of those options are really interesting. this is often definitely a book that must be used alongside a Player’s Handbook (there are not any new classes, so it isn’t trying to face on its own), but as a supplement, it does a terrific job. Even the background section, which is usually charts, is only there to assist kick-start the imagination of somebody who isn’t sure what they need their character to be.